This is an AU fic for quite a few obvious reasons.
Azula’s fingers hovered over the stinging mark spreading up from her wrist to her elbow. She gently ran her finger over the tender red skin outlining it.
Part of her thought it was a bad idea to get the tattoo, but আরো of her ব্যক্ত it was one of the best idea’s she had in a while. The blue and ক্ষুদ্র হংস ink suited her well, at least she thought so anyhow. It only made sense for her to wear the blue flames proudly on her arm…
Much আরো sense than it did to always be reminded of the scars they covered.
The blue flame tattoo wasn’t the first ink job she had done—and if honestly was worth anything, they probably wouldn’t be her last. A মাস prior she had gotten a mural of tiny jagged lines spanning from her ear to a little past the edge of right brow. The lines worked together to make an illusion of cracked skin…shattered like glass.
Ozai hadn’t noticed it yet, she had taken to covering the ink with a new hairstyle অথবা some type of expensive headwear. The man would add another scar to her collection if he ever noticed. To think, just a বছর before she would have never though he’d hurt her.
In fact, she had assumed he’d be concerned…care for her after he found out about her breakdown.
That was why he had hurt her the first time.
For being weak.
And then another scar for losing control of herself.
She ran her hand over the jagged lines. Broken. Shattered. That’s what the tattoo was there for; to remind her that the mind beneath it was as cracked as the depiction. She decided that her third tattoo would simply be an extension of the first; আরো zigzagging lines, this time of a hot white-blue.
A reminder that—despite her father’s thoughts—she was in fact stronger than the cracks in her head.
The princess decided, upon stroking the blue ink fire, that she’d be as tattooed and marked as life left her. She pulled out a piece of parchment. She’d make a list. The first thing on it was her lightning idea. The সেকেন্ড a crown.
The crown will be cracked.
Following that…she’d come up with something.
A broken dagger? A dagger slipping into her back, চেরি blossom petals bleeding from the opening. Something like that sounded good.
Azula folded the parchment and stuffed it into her boot. She had quite a দিন ahead of her. She’d be seeing both of them—her father and her brother—for the first time in a while. She tucked her hair into place and slid her sleeve back down her arm.
She could no longer see the pretty blue ink, but the slight pulsing pain beneath the cloth assured her it wasn’t fading anytime soon. She had come to sort of enjoy the prickling feeling.
It was a kind of pain that eased pain.
Azula stepped up the stairs leading to the palace…her old house. She no longer cared to call it a home. Because it certainly wasn’t.
With each step came a new memory, none of which were particularly pleasant; being wheeled down that set of stairs bound for some institution and being tossed down them দ্বারা an angry Ozai among the memories. That was how he’d hurt her the first time.
The সেকেন্ড time he’d bought a flame of his own to her arm was when she informed him that she had no interest in marriage, epically not to the douchebag from Ember Island he had picked out for her.
Chan was a better pick than that guy.
The third time was of a just because nature. Ozai was drunk. Zuko wasn’t home.
The man needed somewhere to place his anger.
That was the দিন she decided she’d chance living out on her own. She felt like she’d have a better life expectancy living on the streets than with him.
And so she did. She had taken a job at that tattoo parlor, people paid her way আরো than they should have to নকশা them some tatts and brand them with the ink. Azula’s co-worker (claiming she was one of the best artists she’d seen) awarded her দ্বারা giving her, her ট্যাটু free of charge.
Zuko was the only one present when Azula found her আসন at the table. The two didn’t speak. Not even a single utterance as they waited for their father to যোগদান them. It wasn’t that there wasn’t anything to say, it’s just that there was too much, and neither of them knew how to start.
An ঘন্টা dazed দ্বারা and Ozai made no appearance.
It didn’t matter, Zuko was the আগুন Lord anyways, they simply invited Ozai to the meetings as an act of undeserved good will.
The problem lie in the fact that none of the other council members had made an appearance either.
Azula finally spoke up. “Did আপনি forget to tell them about the meeting again Zu-Zu?” It had happened before—Zuko called a meeting, in his head anyways, but forgot to vocalize it. No one showed up of course, and everyone was shocked to get a long lecture from the আগুন Lord.
“This time I called it! I swear.” Zuko put his hands up.
Azula did her best to suppress a grin. “What time did আপনি set the meeting at?”
Zuko remained silent.
“You didn’t did you? আপনি forgot to give them a time.” Azula didn’t even try to stop the laughter.
“You’re here.” Zuko pointed out.
“I live here, I’d have been here eventually regardless.”
“You’re in the meeting room.” He specified.
“That’s because আপনি told me what time to arrive, I didn’t hear আপনি tell anyone else.” At that is was like nothing had ever gone wrong between them.
They had those moments. The ones where they sort of pushed whatever harm—physical and metal—they had done to each other to the side and just snicker together. Those moments when they actually felt like siblings. Those moments where mending their relationship felt possible.
Perhaps this time was the right time.
“Have আপনি been doing alright?” Zuko asked at last. “If আপনি need to আপনি can come back here.”
“I’ve got myself a place to stay. It’s nice enough I suppose. My co-worker, June, I’ve been staying with her.”
“You know June? The one with the shirshu…the one who’s good at tracking. That June?”
“Yeah, that’s the one.” Azula replied. Before she could get another word of her story out, Zuko filled her in on how he’d hired June to track down Aang. She supposed the story was worth the interruption.
Azula rolled up her sleeve. “It’s my newest one.” She stated and brushed her hair to the side.
“When did আপনি get those?”
“A while ago, well the first one anyhow. The আগুন is new.”
“I wish I had the guts to get something like that.” Zuko admitted.
“I can squeeze আপনি in tomorrow if you’d like. But you’re going to have to hold back on your tears, June has this collection of stories about men she made cry while giving them tattoos.”
“She would.” Zuko rolled his eyes. “Perhaps I’ll look into it.”
“Wonderful. Now all আপনি have to do is decide who আপনি trust more, June অথবা myself.”
“What do yours mean?”
Azula gave a half smile. “Perhaps you’ll get the answer one দিন Zuko.”